How to Stop a Toothache and Get Out of Pain Fast

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toothache

I’m sure you’ve always been advised to see your dentist in the event of a toothache. But this advice isn’t all that helpful if you can’t see your dentist right away and the tooth pain is unbearable.

How does one tooth cause so much pain? And what are the best ways to stop a toothache and get out of pain until your next appointment?

This article will answer both of those questions. I’ll also reveal some common mistakes you could be making that might make your pain worse.

First, let’s take a look at the most common causes of tooth pain, then the best ways to get tooth pain relief.

Common Toothache Causes

Inflammation and Cavity Pain

Inside each of your teeth is living tissue with an artery, a vein, and a nerve.

These parts of the tooth give the tooth sensation to pressure, hot, and cold. They can also get inflamed and/or infected.

Certain bacteria in your mouth excrete acids that bore their way through tooth enamel (the hard, white outer coating of teeth). Once the bacteria pass through the enamel, they gain access to the inside structure of the tooth, called dentin.

Dentin is soft and sponge-like with tubules, so it isn’t as strong against the invading bacteria as enamel.

Once the bacteria access the dentin of a tooth, the dentin responds with inflammation. And, most often, pain accompanies inflammation.

Let me explain how.

When you cut your hand, there’s room for the tissue around that cut to expand and swell. It’s on the surface of your skin, so there’s nothing stopping that expansion.

But inside the hard enamel walls of a tooth, swelling dentin has nowhere to go. The inflammation still occurs, however, so pain is caused as the swelling pushes against the outer enamel.

This explains why toothaches are so excruciating, and why they’re rather unique. Nowhere else in the body does inflammation or infection trigger pain of this sort. (And this is why the 3-3-3 method, explained below, works so well: it reduces the swelling.)

The sensation of pain in the teeth due to inflammation and infection is also called cavity pain. Tooth decay and cavities are literally infection of the dentin, and the larger the infection, the worse the inflammatory pain.

You might not realize this, but cavities (dental caries) are a disease, not just surface damage to the teeth. (1)

Root Sensitivity

If you’re having mild, infrequent tooth pain, it might be caused by something less serious than a cavity: root sensitivity.

One easy way to test for root sensitivity is to monitor your toothache after eating sugary foods.

If the pain is more pronounced after eating candy or drinking soda, there’s a good chance that you’re experiencing root sensitivity.

It hurts, of course, but it’s not a cavity or cause for a root canal.

Root sensitivity occurs when things like acidic foods have worn away at the dentin in your tooth.

The root of the tooth is very sensitive to ions, and sugar is an ion, which is what causes the pain. It’s the same reason you might get pain if a metal fork touches your tooth, or if you were chewing on aluminum foil.

Cavities, by comparison, are usually painful when exposed to heat and/or cold.

Less Common Causes of a Toothache:

  • Food getting stuck between your teeth, especially if your teeth have spaces in between them (this becomes more common with receding gums)
  • Trauma to the tooth, including injury or grinding your teeth
  • A sinus infection that can be felt as pain in the teeth

What To Do at the First Sign of a Toothache

Not all toothaches are an emergency. Some are, however, so it’s important that you know how to respond accordingly.

As mentioned, root sensitivity is a non-life threatening cause of tooth sensitivity that your dentist can help with. It’s fine if you experience this pain at night over the weekend and can’t see a dentist until the next day or two—root sensitivity doesn’t need to be immediately addressed.

On the other hand, pulpitis (typically resulting from a cavity, decay, or damage to the tooth), is an infection of the pulp in the tooth that must be treated quickly.

If it’s not, it can lead to reduced blood flow to the pulp. At this stage, the tooth may require a root canal or extraction.

Pulpitis is also one common type of pain after dental work, so if the affected tooth was recently worked on, get to the dentist as soon as you can. Some pulpitis infections are irreversible (which would result in the need for a root canal).

There are several other causes of tooth pain ranging from mild to severe, but the following guidelines are useful in determining how quickly you need to act.

If you’re experiencing mild tooth pain that comes and goes within a few seconds, particularly when eating sugar or hot and cold foods, make note of it.

Bring it up the next time you have your regular dental appointment, which should be every six months. The same goes for mild or moderate pain that disappears after a day or two.

Moderate to severe pain that lasts for more than a day or two is worth an immediate visit to the dentist.

If the dentist isn’t able to meet with you immediately, the 3-3-3 method below can help with pain and inflammation until your visit. However, don’t put off going to the dentist.

If you have a severe toothache with a fever or swelling, or your face has fallen and your dentist hasn’t gotten back to you within an hour, go to the emergency room.

The infection in this scenario is serious enough that you’ll want to get appropriate treatment from a medical professional without delay.

The 3-3-3 Method for Toothache Pain Relief

Again—and I can’t stress this enough—if you’re experiencing intense, lingering tooth pain, you should see a dentist as soon as you can.

But if you can’t get to a dentist, like on a weekend or while traveling, the 3-3-3 method for toothache pain relief can hold you over until you can see a dentist.

When getting out of tooth pain, it’s all about controlling the swelling. Reduce the swelling, and you reduce the pain.

This premise is the foundation of the 3-3-3 Method, which is:

  • 3 Advil (600 mg total)
  • 3 times a day
  • For 3 days

A word of caution: When following the 3-3-3 Method, don’t stop taking the Advil before 3 days have elapsed—even if you feel better.

The goal is to reduce inflammation as well as pain, and once you back off, it takes a while for the medication levels to build back up enough to control the inflammation.

Additionally, you need to keep in mind that this method can’t do anything to address the root cause of your tooth pain. You will need to see a dentist to address the underlying issue.

Consistent tooth pain is almost never resolved on its own, so don’t use this method for anything else except tiding you over until your dentist appointment.

You may also need to check with your doctor to confirm whether you can take ibuprofen. If you can’t, there are some home remedies for tooth pain that may also work to ease your toothache until you’re able to see your dentist.

The Best Home Remedies for Toothache Relief

If you can’t take ibuprofen (Advil), or try to avoid medications when possible, there are several natural methods you can use to reduce the pain of a toothache.

1. Salt Water Rinse

Salt water rinses are one of the first ways I recommend you treat a toothache at home.

To make my super-saturated salt rinse, pour a glass of warm to hot water (boiling isn’t necessary) and slowly stir in either Himalayan or dead sea salt until you see salt crystals at the bottom that are no longer dissolving.

Rinse with this solution 4-5 times daily to reduce inflammation and contract the tissues. This rinse is especially effective with gum pain and foreign body response to something like a poppy seed stuck in between the gums.

Add in warm to hot water
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2. Clove Oil

Clove is an essential oil that may provide pain relief as strong as benzocaine (Orajel). (2)

It’s important to note, however, that the active ingredient in clove oil is eugenol. Although eugenol occurs in nature, synthetic versions carry some safety concerns, according to the EWG. (3)

Clove oil also has antibacterial properties, which means it can kill beneficial bacteria in the mouth an cause an imbalance in the oral microbiome.

For this reason, I don’t recommend using this remedy for more than a couple of days.

To use clove oil to treat a toothache, apply a very small amount to a cotton swab or piece of tissue and apply gently to the affected area.

This works well if there is an exposed nerve due to a deep cavity. Specific placement of the clove oil is crucial for success—it will only work if you place the oil near the pulpal tissue (the inner substance of the tooth).

Most health food stores have clove oil for a few dollars a bottle. Stick with high-quality essential oils to avoid any synthetic fillers. I like the NOW brand.

3. Grab a Pillow

Keeping your head elevated at all times can reduce the excess blood flow to the inflamed tooth that can make swelling increase and pain feel worse.

It sounds overly simplistic, but this small change can make a huge difference in tooth pain.

For sleeping, stay elevated with a wedge-shaped pillow or by stacking several standard pillows.

Keep your head elevated
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4. Keep the Area Cold

Frozen peas or a plastic Ziploc bag with half water and half ice works great to keep the toothache area cold and reduce swelling. Other patients I’ve seen like to freeze corn syrup in a Ziploc, since it doesn’t ever get hard like ice.

You can also try a wrap that lets you apply ice consistently to the area without having to hold it up to your face, like this one:

Hot or Cold Pack
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LotFancy Reusable Pack

4-pc gel pack with stretch wrap for pain relief. Chill or heat up then apply at the right temperature.

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5. Garlic Paste

Garlic has medicinal and anti-bacterial properties that can kill dental bacteria that cause plaque, while also serving as an effective pain reliever. (4)

To try, use a garlic press to crush raw garlic before rubbing onto on the affected tooth.

6. Peppermint Tea

Some studies have shown that peppermint tea has antioxidant and antibacterial properties and can help in numbing painful areas. (5)

To give it a shot, brew a cup of peppermint tea, let it cool, and then swish around in the mouth. Add a bit of ice to cool it down faster.

Alternately, press the cooled (slightly warm is OK) tea bag against your painful tooth.

7. Knotted Floss

If your pain is caused by food stuck between the teeth, there’s a very simple solution that may entirely eliminate your need for a dentist.

The best way to tell if this is the problem is to identify the basic source of your pain. Is it tender gums somewhere near the space between teeth?

If so, knot a piece of floss and floss through your teeth. You’ll find out pretty quickly if your pain is caused by a bit of food—flossing it out will result in almost immediate relief.

How Will the Dentist Treat My Toothache?

When you’re finally able to make a dental appointment, ask the office if there’s anything they recommend to help you deal with your toothache in the meantime.

You should also record details about your pain—When did it start? How frequent is it? Is it radiating?—as well as possible causes of the toothache, like new foods or changes to your hygiene routine.

When you meet with your dentist, he will likely ask you for information about your pain, so it’s important to have as much accurate detail as possible.

Your dentist will conduct an exam to look more closely for the causes of your toothache. S/he’s searching for signs of things like a cracked tooth, cavity pain, or a damaged filling.

In order to diagnose your issue, an X-ray may need to be taken. An abscess, for example, may need an X-ray if you are free of other symptoms but your dentist suspects this “invisible” issue may be causing your toothache.

If the cause of tooth pain is root sensitivity, the dentist may give you a topical fluoride treatment and tips on how to avoid further erosion of the dentin.

If the cause of your pain is inflammation from a cavity, the dentist may recommend a filling or root canal.

The treatment of an abscess would depend on your particular case. If the abscess is in the gum, the dentist will need to drain it, clean it, and treat it.

If it’s in the tooth, he will probably drill a small hole in the tooth to allow the abscess to drain, before later performing a root canal. Or, if the abscess is large or the tooth is badly damaged, you may need to have the tooth removed.

You may also be prescribed antibiotics to aid the healing process and fight infection.

Toothache FAQs

Q:

Should I Go to the Emergency Room for My Toothache?

A: Don’t hesitate to go straight to the ER if you:

  • Have severe pain that persists for more than a day or two
  • Get a fever
  • Show symptoms of infection, such as swelling
  • Notice your eyes swelling shut
  • Struggle to breathe or swallow
  • See your face has fallen

These are signs that the infection has started to spread, which can be dangerous for the body and is absolutely worthy of immediate medical attention.

There is no good severe toothache remedy you can perform at home, so don’t put it off if you’re having these symptoms.

Q:

What's the best way to prevent a toothache?

A: Here are a some basic tips:

  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Brush correctly, using gentle, circular motions with a soft-bristled brush
  • If you grind your teeth, look at getting your sleep apnea treated (which is the most likely reason for grinding)
  • Mouth tape for better sleep and to ensure nose breathing
  • Keep regular dental appointments so your dentist can catch any new cavities quickly and you have time to reverse them naturally

If you have toothaches due to root sensitivity, avoiding sugary and acidic foods can also be helpful.

Q:

What’s the best over-the-counter toothache medicine?

A: The go-to anti-inflammatory medication for toothaches is ibuprofen (Advil). You can take 600-800 milligrams at a time for inflammation over a three-day period, but don’t take it for more than a few days at a time.
Q:

Why does my toothache come and go?

A: Sometimes, pain is responding to a temporary stimulus, like hot, cold, or sugar, as in the case of root sensitivities or cavities.

Other times, it might be an abscess flaring up and then healing enough that the pain subsides, even if the infection itself isn’t completely gone.

Cracked teeth also often have acute pain that fades and recurs as the pulp inside the tooth gets irritated or infected, heals, and then gets irritated again.

Q:

Can a toothache cause a headache?

A: Yes. The trigeminal nerve is responsible for carrying messages for almost all toothaches as well as headaches, which often means that toothaches can be directly responsible for headaches.

Additionally, we often tense up other areas of the body like the jaw when our teeth hurt, which can lead to headaches. Other problems, like sinus infections, can sometimes radiate as both toothaches and headaches.

Q:

When do you need to take an antibiotic for tooth pain?

A: When your dentist or doctor prescribes it! Typically, you’ll get a prescription antibiotic if your dentist suspects or finds infection.

This is also a common prescription for the period of time before a root canal, in order to get the large infection under control before opening the tooth.

Q:

I’m taking amoxicillin for a toothache and it isn’t helping. What can I do?

A: A lot of tooth infections are resistant to amoxicillin. Connect with your doctor or dentist again and ask about changing your prescription to another kind of antibiotic.

When I prescribe amoxicillin to my patients, I tell them to contact me if their pain hasn’t improved within three days so that we can get them on a different treatment.

Q:

I’ve had a toothache for a month and nothing is working, but the pain only comes at night when I get ready to go to bed. What can I do to make it stop?

A: First, see a dentist. You’re likely dealing with an abscessed tooth that needs medical attention. It won’t heal on its own.

The pain is probably worse at night because you’re laying down, which increases the blood pressure to your tooth, since it’s at the same level as your heart.

You can try elevating your head and even your upper torso at night to relieve the pain, but that will only help relieve the pain a little. Ultimately, it’s important that you get treatment so your body can properly heal.

Q:

Should I use a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash to get rid of bacteria that’s causing my toothache?

A: No! Hydrogen peroxide should never be used in the mouth.

Peroxide is highly antibacterial, which is actually not a good thing for your oral microbiome in the first place. (6) (That’s the reason I don’t recommend using essential oils in the mouth very often.)

However, the more serious reason you should avoid using hydrogen peroxide in the mouth is the increased risk of oral cancer. Some sources say this isn’t a possibility, but I prefer to err on the side of caution. (7, 8)

Final Thoughts on Toothaches

Not every toothache requires an immediate trip to the dentist, but they’re not something you should ignore.

Some common causes of toothaches include:

  • Inflammation and cavity pain
  • Root sensitivity
  • Food stuck between the teeth
  • Trauma to the teeth (grinding, car accident, etc.)
  • Sinus infection

I’ve found the 3-3-3 method for toothache pain to work best: take 3 ibuprofen, 3 times a day, for 3 days.

Other ways to treat tooth pain at home include:

  1. Salt water rinse
  2. Clove oil
  3. High pillow
  4. Keeping the area cold
  5. Garlic paste
  6. Peppermint tea
  7. Knotted floss

If you’re in extremely severe pain or develop a fever, you should go to the ER for your toothache.

Mild pain may go away completely with these toothache home remedies. Moderate to severe pain that sticks around should send you to the dentist as soon as possible.

If you have any more questions about how to stop tooth pain, don’t hesitate to ask.

Read Next: Reversing Tooth Decay and Healing Cavities Naturally: Top Questions Answered

References

  1. Selwitz, R. H., Ismail, A. I., & Pitts, N. B. (2007). Dental caries. The Lancet, 369(9555), 51-59. Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17208642
  2. Alqareer, A., Alyahya, A., & Andersson, L. (2006). The effect of clove and benzocaine versus placebo as topical anesthetics. Journal of dentistry, 34(10), 747-750. Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16530911
  3. Environmental Working Group. (2018). Eugenol. Retrieved from: https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702373/EUGENOL/
  4. Houshmand, B., Mahjour, F., & Dianat, O. (2013). Antibacterial effect of different concentrations of garlic (Allium sativum) extract on dental plaque bacteria. Indian journal of dental research, 24(1), 71. Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23852236
  5. Singh, R., Shushni, M. A., & Belkheir, A. (2015). Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of Mentha piperita L. Arabian Journal of Chemistry, 8(3), 322-328. Abstract: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878535211000232
  6. Rashed, H. T. (2016). Evaluation of the effect of hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash in comparison with chlorhexidine in chronic periodontitis patients: A clinical study. Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, 6(3), 206. Full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4916793/
  7. Weitzman, S. A., Weitberg, A. B., Stossel, T. P., Schwartz, J., & Shklar, G. (1986). Effects of hydrogen peroxide on oral carcinogenesis in hamsters. Journal of Periodontology, 57(11), 685-688. Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3104570
  8. Munro, I. C., Williams, G. M., Heymann, H. O., & Kroes, R. (2006). Use of hydrogen peroxide‐based tooth whitening products and its relationship to oral cancer. Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry, 18(3), 119-125. Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16831183

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57 Comments

Leave a Comment

  1. emily bennette says:

    I had no idea that having big gaps in your teeth where food can get stuck can be what is causing your toothaches. That is a good thing to know if you are getting them frequently, that way you can try to clean your teeth better. It might also be smart to visit your dentist if you are still getting them.

    • What pain relief helps for a throbbing toothache

    • Hey, I agree with you about the clove oil, it automatically reduced the inflammation.
      I usually brush my teeth twice a day with a normal grocery brush, but it isn’t enough to make my teeth and gums health, white and painless. I use to wear a braces and my experience was terrible.
      After a few months trying different brushes and toothpastes I discover a Water Flosser brush that really makes the difference. I found it on amazon. (Link not shown)
      Thank you for the helpful post
      Amanda

  2. Jacob Froerer, DDS MSD says:

    Thanks so much for your informative article and videos! As a Salt Lake City dentist who works in an after hours dental office I have seen my fair share of toothaches and you’re absolutely right they can be excruciating!! I will definitely be referring my dental patients to these clear and concise videos.

    • Mackenzie Gierszewski says:

      I have a question. What if u wake up with a tooth ache? Is it because your teeth are just not like….awake? What is it?

  3. Where is the information on diet mentioned in the emailed summary of the posting?

  4. Thanks for sharing these amazing tips. We should know about the basic dental tips to deal with these type of dental emergencies.

    Gary, I think we should take liquid only if we have toothache. Solid stuff may cause more problem while chewing.

  5. I had never considered to keep my head elevated to reduce tooth pain. I sometimes experience sharp pain when I eat really sweet things. My dentist has told me that it is probably the result of an exposed root. I wonder if any of these techniques would help resolve that issue as well.

  6. I had a bridge for 30 years and it started to fall apart, so the dentist removed it and the tooth to the right had to have root canal as after the dentist prep it for the new bridge it pained for weeks. Long story short he has just prepped the tooth on the other side and now it aches for the past couple of weeks and the dentist wants to do another root canal before he puts in the new bridge. I am not very impressed to attach a bridge to two teeth that have recent root canals.

    Could the dentist be using me for a make work project?

  7. the only thing that worked for me is taking the pain killers, but unfortunately it takes 20-30 minutes before the pain is stopped, but it doesn’t stop it completely. The pain killers stop the throbbing pulsating pain in my tooth, but the tooth still hurts whenever something touches it. This is what confuses me. I can’t see anything wrong with my teeth. There are no holes or cracks for something to be irritating it so badly and I can’t get to the dentist for a whole months. I have no idea what to do.

    • This is my case exactly! Turns out that there’s a small cavity inside the tooth that is not visible from the outside. So the outside is pretty n pearly, but it’s kinda rot inside. And it’s only a small crack but since the upper part is intact, the gas builded up in the inside and cause all the commotion. Once the pressure is released, the pain subdue. And i’m having root canal treatment for this tooth. Hope u get better soon. And yes, the only thing to kill the pain unfortunately is by having the dentist checking it out

    • M. ASHRAF says:

      When I taking the pain killers, but unfortunately it takes 20-30 minutes the pain is stopped, but it doesn’t stop it completely. The pain killers stop the throbbing pulsating pain in my tooth, but the tooth still hurts whenever something touches it. This is what confuses me. I can’t see anything wrong with my teeth. There are no holes or cracks for something to be irritating it so badly and I can’t get to the dentist for a whole months. I have no idea what to do and how to stop pain permanently. Please advise a medicine for stop pain which is get in pakistan medical store

  8. i tried all of these, none seem to work, im in so much pain right now. how much is a dentist visit without insurance? i need to go bad

    • same situation here.Dentists are expensive.Im taking tylenol.and applying ambesol

  9. Sunday Hanson says:

    Thank you so much for this information. Much needed. Definitely going to try the 3-3-3

  10. what can kill the bacteria from inside the mouth

    • Amoxicillin ,, you get the prescription from the dentist

  11. CLAUDIA A. MARTIN says:

    Not having clove oil, I put Anbesol on floss and use that.
    Started having pain on upper and lower back teeth 04/15/17–may be referred pain–>sensitive to pressure only on the superior #15 tooth [ADA numbering] and relief with cold (!). I can’t use Advil [CKD patient]. No stress, trauma, new fillings, etc. Will stop drinking the new limeade + cucumber + mint juice I started two weeks ago. (? acidity) I have basic aging gums, but religiously see a distant dentist, and I brush and floss regularly. Since its been five days since this inflammation started, I will call and arrange to see my dentist this weekend….unless you are local to me in California? (& have an opening.) 🙂
    I can’t wait to use the hot saline (I forgot this was something I use rarely for similar oral problems.) Your web writings are wonderfully informing. Thank you for putting out such succinct articles. I appreciate the help. I am normally able to handle things, but not when in pain.

  12. Do you have to use himilayan salt? I’ve only have regular table salt

  13. I’ve also had good luck by rubbing some Vick’s on the outside of my cheek, along the jawline where I’m having the tooth pain–the menthol kicks in as a sort of numbing agent and helps reduce the pain for a while! It’s especially effective if I lay down with that side of my face against the pillow.

  14. I have 3 damage teeth … my problem is i have a phobia with doctors and i have a nervous problem im fainted or my body is shaking everytine i go to a hospital or clinics..all doctors including the dentist is my worst or should i say my enemy in my entire whole life.. my tooth is aching right now and i dont know what to do.. i have a medicine for my phobia or nervous problem for months the doctor give me mentumir and rivotril.. because the last time i go to the dentist i just fainted before and after the injection and i feel the anesthesia is in my head its hard to believe but it really affects me that i think i might go crazy or something because of the anesthesia and mix with phobia aand nervous… what shall i do? I cannot talk or have a big smile because of this i cannot eat properly or even sleep .. can you pls tell or help me .. or can you suggest some different ways to deal with this. Thank you so much

    • You might want to look into dentist that specialise in helping people who have a phobia for the dentist. There are a couple of things they can do to help you through the procedure, like giving you gas to help you relax or even knocking you out completely if you prefer to be asleep for the whole thing! The first steps will be the scariest but you just have to think, these people see this all the time and have helped a lot of people like you.
      The first consultation will just be about discussing your options, so that’s a nice way to ease into coming into the office.

  15. Im in super bad pain with my teeth its gone up to my ear now cant sleep or eat and im waiting for my oparation date to come though

  16. My tooth definitely needs to be looked at but at night I seem to be grinding them causing the gums to swell. The salt rinse really worked! Within minutes. Hours of pain even tried Advil had gone away! I’m gonna go to the dentist tomorrow tho and have this tooth looked at.

  17. I am 12 years old, I have extremely bad toothache to the point where im crying and taking days off school, the pain consists throughout the day and I cant have fun because this tooth is ruining everything. I don’t know what I can do as nothing works.

    • go to the school office and ask them for an appointment you should be under a school dental programme it is supposed to be free tell your mum to get you a dental appointment straight away hope you sort it out honey

  18. You may think this sounds weird but it honestly helps – look up “oil pulling” I have two very infected teeth on my bottom, even effecting my jaw. And I did also rinse with salt water after the oil pulling and lay night i also put an ice pack on my jaw for a while. Seriously you should try it if you’re in pain.

  19. Black pepper and salt made into a paste with little water took all the pain away…Best home remedy I have ever tried…I applied paste several times at first and works like a charm…after pain was gone I also put ice in rag and held it to my cheek over the affected area to help with swelling also..Had to share my experience after reading how bad people was hurting..Hope this info will help…toothaches are a nightmare..

  20. None of these worked for me and I have tried for the past two days after going back to the dentist today. And I am laying here crying as I try to fall asleep but fail as to how horrible the pain is. I have a dentist appointment for a root canal in TWO WEEKS and I just want this pain to end already. I even put a gel on my gums to numb it but that does nothing whatsoever. The worst pain I have ever felt, I would rather have a migraine than this

  21. Put ice cube in mouth just leave it on tongue and top of mouth it works

  22. I’m in the worst pain I have ever had I made some poor choices five years ago and I brush and floss my teeth every day but I’m guessing because of the choices I made a long time ago are just now catching up to me my teeth and breaking and starting to get black holes in them only the ones in the back of my mouth there hurting so bad my whole face is swelling up and it’s making my ears and eyes and body hurt bad I’ve tried every type of medicine i can for them pain pills are not even helping me i don’t have insurance or anything like that so it’s hard for me to go see a doctor

    • I don’t know where you live, but here you can get low cost or even free treatment if you go get it at a university where dentists are still in training. You don’t have to worry about them messing up, because they’re supervised and the teacher will take over if it isn’t going right.

  23. You need
    To get to a dentist fast !!! I feel your pain right now I need root canal I’m just going to show up today at my Dentist office I’m surpose to be leaving for New Orleans at 1 today but pain is bad. I can tell you take 4 Advil it will help with pain and swelling. Take every 5 to 6 hour it will help a lot. I have taken pain pill does not touch it. The root of the tooth is damaged and swelling so advail will decrease the swelling and help with the pain.. I feel your pain I’m so sorry

  24. Janet, your kind advice is well-meaning but possibly dangerous.
    #1-You don’t know if she is a full-sized adult or not. Doses of ibuprofen (Advil) over 400 mg is dangerous for a full-sized adult, much less a smaller person. Advil can come in 100 and 200 mg doses. Four 200s= 800 mg.
    #2–With her history, taking this OTC could throw her into heart, kidney or liver failure.
    #3–Is she pregnant? Ibuprofen can increase miscarriage by 2.4 times.
    #4–Does she have asthma? This can worsen asthma.
    To everyone out there:
    Ibuprofen interferes with prostaglandin production, which is why it works so well. If someone did get relief with the Advil, they might put off finding a dentist, and keep taking the med–because it’s cheaper?…they have fear? Longer use can increase your blood pressure (hypertension). It’s been found associated with myocardial infarctions (MI’s=heart attacks), especially if someone is taking big doses. I took NSAIDs (the category this drug falls into) for 20 years, before anyone knew of the long term effects. I was suspicious of the long term effects because I’m a health professional, so I rotated the types. It didn’t work. Before I knew it, I was developing kidney failure (Stage 3) because, being a part-time worker, I had no health insurance until I met my spouse and was finally able to get a check up. I felt fine. *Surprise*) Yes, I’m on dialysis now, and I still feel fine (Stage 5).
    Note: Just because you “feel fine” doesn’t mean you are. And delaying going to a dentist IS putting your LIFE at risk. Get the right abscess and it can go into your brain. Go to a dental school and get your treatment on a payment plan. They will work with you.
    I’m so sympathetic. I’m trying to time my extraction till the end of the year so that I can get insurance to pay for most of what I need done. I’m SOOO lucky because I have insurance, but I remember what it was like not to have it. But let FEAR run your life? Fear has ruined my life. Listening to ill-meaning strangers also helped. Fear will increase or drag out your pain.
    Go to your local dental school! They are all great. Ask for their help. People are wired (except for sociopaths) to want to help if you ask them. Say, as you hold your jaw, standing at the dental school reception desk, look the person in the eyes, and say, “Please, help me!” …just like that. The schools always have cancellations, the instructors have a vested interest to be there, and I know for a fact that some of the kids NEED the extractions or whatever for their “books,” and that they will PAY street folks sometimes to get what they need, depending on where they are in their curriculum. They (the students) must have a certain number of extractions, root canals, etc. for graduation. It’s not advertised or talked of except among the students, in hushed whispers. So, don’t go asking at the desk…or the instructors…or in front of the instructors. Our local school does $11 visits.
    You’re wasting time on a website, if it delays you seeing a dentist. You’re wasting time. Think, dentist=rock star. who wouldn’t want to see a rock star? Your tooth will always hurt worse in the quiet times. Set your fancy phone’s alarm to 0900 and program in the school’s number. When it goes off, call. Tell them you’re in agony. Remember, “Please help me! I’m in terrible pain.” (Don’t lie.) “Put me on your cancellation list.” is another good one (someone cancels, the school calls you to come in for care), depending on where you are in your area or life.
    Peace, love, and painlessness to us all

  25. My fiance is in extreme pain with a toothache. Here’s the problem … he has 2 artificial heart valves, one is a mechanical valve and has a difficult time for a dentist to see him because of this …they won’t risk it. What can he do to get the help that he needs so badly?

  26. Max Jones says:

    My daughter has been getting toothaches off and on for a few weeks now, and I think that being able to have some things to try would be helpful! I’m glad that you talked about being able to give a salt rinse a try for toothaches, which is something that we hadn’t tried out yet. I’m going to have to see if we can get some good relief for her toothaches before we have to take her in! Thanks for the help!

  27. Gloria Gacer says:

    Hi. I had a tooth ache a while ago. I just brushed my teeth with colgate , and put listerine mouthwash in a cotton ball and place it on a aching teeth.

  28. I have a small swelling in my upper hard palate close to my right molars ….It hurts sooooo bad and whenever I press on it with my tongue……It affects the teeth in that area……Pls what can I do….This pain is too much.

    • see a dentist asap of course. this kind of stuff can really cause lots of pain and future expensive problems. catch it early and fix it!

      sorry u r dealing with this.

      drb

  29. I am pregnant and my wisdom teeth is pushing all my teeth on the same side, i am in serious pain and my dentist refused to remove it for me, my whole face and gum are swollen and this pain is that too much, i am 28 weeks pregnant, please help me, what I should do?

  30. I am having an on and off toothache and the painkillers seem to not work very well hurts really bad having root canal done but not until months cause I can’t take it so I have to get anesthetics to make me sleep what should I do to help this pain?

  31. My upper front teeth was cracked couple years ago and I got it bonded but now its starting to pain really bad and my face is a bit swollen. What can I do to ease the Pain? Im in a foreign country at the moment and have no insurance and dentist are really expensive.

  32. Im in agony now I cant sleep I googled quick pain relief for tooth while shaking from the pain, came across this website I saw the temporary reliefs I ran downstairs to get ice and I cracked a ice cube and placed it in my mouth where the pain is took a few seconds but now I feel much better.

  33. I’ ve been suffering from excruciating pain due to this toothache for three days but suddenly i woke up without feeling any pain, my tooth felt a little pain when I touch it with my tongue though but I am now happy that I can work/ The dentist asked me to buy antibacterial and pain killers and it worked but I still continue medication.My tooth extraction is scheduled after 3 days.

  34. Becca Holton says:

    These were really helpful suggestions. My husband and I are out of town and his tooth recently started bothering him. He said that it’s not too, so we should wait until we go back home before going to a dentist. However, I’m sure he’d appreciate some of these suggestions, especially the one about keeping up levels of Advil.

  35. Meloney Turman says:

    Hi I have a terrible toothache amoxicillian isn’t helping, what can I do? And instead of doing and expensive implant what other options do I have to keep my toothe?

  36. Joy Butler says:

    Your article may have saved my life from this terrible pain that is a toothache! I won’t be having my dentists appointment until tomorrow so I’m looking for ideas to relieve me of this migraine-inducing pain that I have. I’ll be sure to try out the 3-3-3 method as well as the salt rinse and only resort to the clove oil if nothing else works and if there’s any that’s available.

  37. Nisha Ryans says:

    I have had a toothache for bout a month now I have tried everything and still isn’t working. But my pain only comes at night when I get ready to go to bed . I’m in so much pain rite now I can’t even sleep at night anymore… Wat can I do bout this pain to make it stop???

  38. Somya Sinha says:

    I would like to share another remedy here. Take few guava leaves and add them to one bowl of water and boil it until guava leaves gets mixed with water. When the water becomes as viscous as boiled milk, switch-off the burner. Gargle this water to get relief from pain. This ayurvedic medicine for tooth pain also removes the tooth worms.
    Somya

  39. If you are really desperate and it hurts like hell, it may work to keep cold water in your mouth. Though it’s annoying and as soon as you spit out the water it will hurt again…Just keep refilling

  40. Personally, when I deal with tooth pain I use warm water rinses of salt, and another on eof oregano oil. The warmth keeps blood flowing to the area, nourishing the tissue, etc. This allows for better absorption of salt and oils into the blood stream. Depending on how severe the infection is, or pain, the relief can be an hour, and up to 3hrs.

    Constant rinsing helps to keep bad bacteria from harming the tooth anymore than it has, or at least for a while. As a result of this kind of treatment, swelling subsided, and minor aches occurred in the gums, and jaw. This is all just a temporary fix until you see a dentist, which is the overall plan.

  41. Jennifer R says:

    I sympathize with everyone having toothache pain. I know what it’s like as I am going through it myself. I’ve also had to miss work due to the throbbing pain and nothing hardly works. I’ve gone to the ER and they’ve prescribed tylenol 3 codeine and antibiotics, that didn’t help. These are some things I’ve tried that did work temporarily. Brushing the teeth then using mouthwash.Using peroxide. Using orajel. I even tried a mixture of orajel and mouthwash. WHat worked for me was using salt and water with a warm towel pressed against my ear and jawbone. My tooth is infected and spread to my ear. Different combinations work for different people. The best is finding a dentist that will work with you or quality care or care credit to pay a bit at a time. Thanks so much for all the tips and for the vapor rub against the cheek, I’m actually trying that one now and it does work! I hope everyone’s pain goes away and you’re able to see a dentist.

  42. We good home remedy for gum problem – Take some mustard oil and mix little salt, turmeric and black pepper. Massage your gums morning and evening 4-5 minutes and then rinse with warm water.

  43. Awesome post, Lots of the tips that I haven’t heard of

  44. Elizabeth gornall says:

    Hi there
    My name is liz
    I have had a broken tooth and I came out
    But now I have the root and nerve lefted by the tooth
    Went too the hospital and they could not remove it because I had a small problem with the teeth and gum I had an infection so I was sent home with no antibiotics
    But they made me a new appointment for the 3rd of March but we had bad weather and I missed the appointment
    I have been too my dentist and they gave me same antibiotics for the pain
    But nothing is working now
    So please help because this is painful and uncomfortable

  45. Is it 3pcs advil a total of 9 pcs for a day? I’m referring to the 3 advil (60g)😥?

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